Clean Eating by Amie Valpone book review

Clean Eating by Amie Valpone book review

Remove Toxins from Your Body with the 21-Day Plan


Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body is a diet that will help to remove toxins from your body.  The process is to go on the complete elimination diet and then reintroduce food back into your diet one item at a time.  Assess how the new food makes you feel.  If you have adverse reactions, then keep that ingredient off of your menu.  Essentially the book helps you to identify which foods are toxic to your body and get rid of them so that you can feel better.


Amie Valpone, the author, created this diet because of her story of being deathly ill.  At one point doctors told her that she only had 24 hours left to live.  At 25 years old she weighed only 89 pounds and was malnourished.  Her body was not absorbing any nutrients.  Furthermore, she had severe abdominal and leg swelling.  The doctors did not know what was wrong.  After being sent home from the hospital because they couldn’t find a diagnosis, Amie had to find her own diagnosis by seeking functional and integrative physicians.  They had her do the elimination diet which she describes in the book to determine which foods were toxic to her body.  Her diet now is free of gluten, dairy, egg, refined sugar, corn, peanut, and soy.   Consequently, she feels “unbelievably better” now.

“Many of the symptoms we experience are caused by toxins, especially those in our food system.  I’ve learned about the connection between the health of our gut and the efficiency of our immune system, the clarity of our skin, the ease of our digestion, and our risk for disease.” (p.53)


The author starts off with the 21-day elimination diet to remove toxins from your body.  She gives thirteen toxic foods to eliminate from your diet.  If you cheat by eating something you are not supposed to, you need to start the 21 days all over again.  Getting rid of addicting foods will be the hardest part.  The first days of the diet you most likely experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches and feeling lethargic.  These side effects will pass within a few days; then you will start feeling energetic and clear headed.

Upon completing the 21-day elimination diet, slowly reintroduce organic, healthy foods back into your diet to determine which foods are sensitive to you. Add one food back into your diet at a time to see if you have any reaction to it.  After three days of eating this food, assess if you had any reactions.  Don’t eat the food on the fourth day.  If there are no symptoms, then this food can be a part of your diet.  However, if you did have an adverse reaction, such as headaches or stomach upsets, then stay away from eating this food.  On day five, try another food to introduce into your diet and repeat the process again.

“Counting calories is the last thing you should worry about when you’re trying to eat clean.  A handful of nuts may be calorically dense, but there’s a lot of goodness packed in there that you can’t get somewhere else.” (p. 12)

Two chapters are devoted to teaching you how to remove toxins from your environment.  There are many harmful ingredients in personal care products, cleaning supplies, and pesticides in your home and office,  The author tells you where they are and alternative products to use instead.


Eating Clean: The 21-Day Plan to Detox, Fight Inflammation, and Reset Your Body describes a strict diet.  Hence, it is not for everyone.  This book will help people who are sick, even with minor symptoms, to eliminate toxic food in their diet.  If you have an ailment that could be caused by a certain food you are eating but cannot find the culprit, this diet is perfect for you.

There are recipes on how to make homemade dairy-free nut milk and flours, including almond milk, coconut milk, and almond flour. I enjoyed the recipes because they are easy to make and healthier than the products you purchase at a store.

The author provides many websites where you can buy organic ingredients, so you don’t have to waste time looking for them in a health store.  You may have never heard of some of the ingredients or don’t know where to find them at the store.  It is easier to order them online from these trusted websites and have it delivered to your home.

Guilty as Sin Book Review

Guilty as Sin Book Review


Guilty As Sin describes the details behind Hillary Clinton’s email scandal.  The book was published on August 22, 2016.  The author, Edward Klein, wanted to get the book out in enough time for people to read it before the 2016 Presidential Election in November in hopes of voters being aware of how much Hillary lies and is not fit to be President.  But, at the same time, he also wanted to include as much up-to-date information about the email scandals as possible. There are quotes, documents, and events in the book up to July 5, 2016.

The author also wrote another book, The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President, which he makes many references to in this book.  I did a book review on The Truth About Hillary.


The book starts off with Bill Clinton talking privately with Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  He was on her airplane for about a half hour.  This happened in the midst of the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.  Consequently, the public and FBI were furious because they felt that the meeting had compromised the investigation.  Four days after the incident she recused herself from the case

“It was four days since the airport encounter between Lynch and Bill Clinton, and in the public furor that ensued, everyone – Democrats and Republicans alike – agreed that the meeting had seriously compromised the FBI’s investigation into Hillary’s use of an unsecured private email system when she was secretary of state.”


It became apparent that Hillary would never pay for her crimes when President Barack Obama endorsed her as the Democratic Presidential Nominee on June 9, 2016.  The criminal investigation has been going on for fourteen months.

“Everyone knows Hillary is guilty as sin:  she sent and received classified information on an unsecure email server that was hackable by America’s enemies; she indulged in pay-to-play shenanigans with the Clinton Foundation when she was secretary of state; and her top aides suffered a sudden onset of amnesia when they testified under oath, suggesting that Hillary had conspired to suborn witnesses. Yet despite all that, Hillary would never pay for her crimes, because the president of the United States wouldn’t let that happened.

July 5, 2016, James Comey set the stage in a speech with all the evidence by stating all of the charges to prove her guilt.  He went on for ten minutes.  Everyone was waiting for the punchline saying that she would go to jail for the email scandal.  It was jaw dropping when we heard that Comey said he would NOT recommend the indictment of Secretary Hillary Clinton. She certainly should not have gotten away with it.


As soon as Guilty as Sin: Uncovering New Evidence of Corruption and How Hillary Clinton and the Democrats Derailed the FBI Investigation came out, I ordered it from the library.  I received it the evening of the 2016 Presidential Election, November 8.  While watching the presidential election coverage, I began reading the book.  The outcome of the election would be the deciding factor if I was going to finish it.  Trump won the election.  I could relax now with relief knowing that Trump won and I didn’t have to worry about all the corruption that Hillary would have done in the White House.  I continued reading the book until I was done two days later.

The majority of the book was information I already knew.  I learned most of it via media clips and interviews on Fox News.  Surprisingly though I never tire of listening to it, especially about FBI Director James Comey’s investigation of the email scandal.  Every time it comes on, I intently listen, even though I know it almost word for word.

This book is great for people who wants to know more about the email scandal and to reread it when more information comes out in the future.  This investigation is now over yet.  I’m sure a lot more evidence will surface after Donald Trump becomes President in January 2017.  A lot more history is in the making on this topic.

One thing that I did not like at all is the many curse words in the book.  The author quotes many people swearing.  In my opinion, it was unnecessary.


21-Day Weight Loss Book Review

21-Day Weight Loss Book Review

Boost Metabolism by Following 3 Simple Rules Without Counting Calories


21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart informs readers how making better food choices to boost metabolism  Best of all; there are no more counting calories.   Neal Barnard explains why some foods are harmful and what they do inside the body.  The main points of the diet emphasize replacing animal products, eliminating dairy, and minimizing oil.  There are only a few rules to follow.


  1. Replace Animal Products

    To have a healthy diet, you need to decrease fatty foods.  Animal products are part of that group.  When animals overeat, they get fat, and consequently, it gets transferred to you in the meat.  Eggs are not good either because they contain a lot of fat and cholesterol.

  2. Eliminate Dairy

    Cut all milk and cheese out of your diet.  Both the dairy fat and protein are a concern.  For one, many individuals are lactose intolerant, and this is becoming more common.

  3. Minimize Oil

    Keep all fats and oils to a minimum.  Do not eliminate them since your body does require some fat.  This includes the healthy varieties, such as Olive Oil.  To get fats out of your cells so that they can function, you need to eat less fat.

Since you are decreasing or eliminating some foods, you need to replace it with another food that is a healthier choice.  Boost metabolism by eating more fiber.  It will keep you satiated.  Fiber is found in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and beans.  Carbohydrates are not frowned upon in this diet.  Bread and pasta are allowed, and not just the whole wheat variety.

“One of fiber’s greatest attributes is its ability to tackle your appetite. Fiber signals your brain that you’re full.  Here’s how it works.  In your stomach, fiber holds water, so it’s heavy enough to trick your stomach into thinking you have eaten quite a lot.  But fiber has virtually no calories.  In other words, it alerts your brain that you’ve eaten too many calories.” (p. 26)



There are no counting calories on this diet.  If you eat the correct foods, you will naturally stop eating when you are full.  Your body will not crave more food because it will be getting all the nutrients it needs.

“The success of this program is not based on willpower.  Instead, it is based on using the power of foods to change the basic body processes that determine your size and shape.  Certain foods trigger the appetite centers, causing you to overeat.  Others trigger the satiety centers – the parts of your brain that tells you to stop eating – so you eat less” (p. 6)

Chapter 8 inspires and encourages dieters as they go through the program with tips and encouragement every day, which helps to keep dieters from quitting the program.  The daily lessons include inspiration and nutrition tips to help you to understand what is happening in your body and why you should be eating certain foods.  It is like Neal Barnard is there right beside you during the whole 21-day journey.  He talks a lot about replacing ingredients, such as cheese and milk, with healthier foods.  For example, replace regular milk with almond or soy milk.

There are a lot of recipes in the book.  However, they are only a guideline to the right foods to eat.  Most of the book comprise information to give the reader knowledge to develop their own recipes.  They can keep their favorite recipes and switch out some ingredients to a healthier one.



Explaining in detail why I should be eating a certain food is very helpful to me.  I always need to know why before I do something.  I love how Neal Barnard explains why eating fiber is good for us.  He describes how when fibrous food reaches our stomachs; the food expands and that is why we feel full.  I understand now and want to follow his advice.  21-Day Weight Loss Kickstart diet makes sense and works.

I also think that it is helpful that he teaches you how to choose the right foods so that you can create your own recipes.  In some diet books, you need to eat what they tell you every day.


The Wonder by Emma Donoghue Book Review

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue Book Review

The Wonder by Emma Donoghue Book Review


The Wonder is a fiction novel about a young girl who voluntarily stopped eating, claiming that she hasn’t eaten in four months.  A mystery is entered into the story when a nurse is hired to watch over her.  It is the nurse’s job to find out how the girl is living without food.  Is this a hoax?

The author, Emma Donoghue, also wrote Room, which is another excellent book.


Anna, an eleven-year-old girl from a small Irish village, claims to have not eaten any food in the last four months.  Her parents are convinced that the child can live without food.   People outside of Anna’s village are calling them fools for believing that the child is living without food.

Consequently, a committee was formed and decided to mount a watch over the child to determine if it is a hoax. Dr. Brearty, the O’Donnell’s family physician, headed the committee.  They wanted only the best nurse, so they sent for one that Florence Nightingale trained.  They chose Lib Wright, who was young and widowed.  Living in London, Lib had travel expenses paid to come to Ireland where the O’Donnell’s reside. Another person hired for the watch was a Roman Catholic nun, Sister Michael.  The parents insisted upon someone with the same religious denomination and nationality be one of the people hired.  Both Sister Michael and the O’Donnell’s live in Ireland.

Upon arriving, Lib found out that the family was poor.  She had believed that they had money since they paid for all of her expenses while traveling from England to Ireland.  The family wasn’t spending their money, the committee was.  The family lived in a small cabin.  The maid in the O’Donnell household is Anna’s cousin, Kitty.  Malachy and Rosaleen O’Donnell had another child, a son named Pat, who died last November.  Anna is their only child now.

Lib’s length of employment was for a fortnight (14 days) to report if Anna ingests any food.  However, she thought after hearing her duties that she would be back home in a few days.  It wouldn’t take that long to find out the hoax because surely the girl is getting food from somewhere.  Lib’s only job was to find out where Anna was obtaining her nourishment.

Lib and Sister Michael were alternating eight-hour shifts to watch Anna nonstop for two weeks.  Lib just needs to figure out how the child is getting food secretly.  She monitors her the entire time during her shift and insists that there be no visitors.  She thought that it would only take one or two days to see how Anna was eating.


During her shift, Lib develops a friendship with Anna.  All day long Anna recites prayers and sings hymns.  The whole family, along with Sister Michael when she is there, prays on their knees several times a day.  Since Lib isn’t from the same religion, she is not aware of the traditions. From the very first day Lib met Anna, the child had recited the Dorothy prayer many times every day. Lib did not know the significance of it.

Anna tells Lib that she eats manna, which is sustaining her.  Rosaleen’s lack of worry about her daughter’s health dumbfounded Lib.  How can she allow her daughter to keep on fasting when it is diminishing her life?  Her mother comes in to see Anna twice a day.

Leave her be, Lib wanted to say.  But she held her tongue while Rosaleen bent down to rouse her daughter with a long embrace and murmured prayers.  Like something out of grand opera, the way she barged in to make a show of her maternal feelings twice a day.


The last thing Anna ate was the sacrament she had on her first Communion on her eleventh birthday.  She was the talk of the town being the amazing girl that doesn’t eat. Some people in the village says that it is a miracle that the girl can subsist on air.

Some people thought it was true that Anna was The Wonder and believed that it was a miracle that she could live on air.  After reading articles in the paper about it, visitors came from around the world just to see her.  Not everyone believed it, though.  One doctor came to the house to do an exam on Anna to check for himself if it was true.

“It’s Just as I suspected when I read about the case in the paper.”  The words sprayed from Standish’s mouth.  “In taking up this chit of a girl – and dignifying this charade by setting a formal watch – McBrearty’s made himself a laughingstock.  No, made this whole unfortunate nation a laughingstock!”

Turning away all visitors, including doctors and reporters from visiting Anna.  Lib didn’t want any interruptions because she needed to make sure no one secretly gave Anna food.

The time span for the whole book is two weeks, but every day is crucial.  The reader needs to read until the very end to find out what happens.


After reading Room, I immediately wanted to read Emma Donoghue’s other books. Room book review.  Her stories are entertaining to read.  The endings are unexpected, and yet so perfect.

The end of The Wonder emotes both sadness and joy to the reader.  In the beginning, I thought the story was over, and I knew how it was going to end, so what could fill 200 more pages?  I didn’t want to put the book down.  There was a lot of twists in the book, and I had no idea what was coming next.  I would read again.

Hillary Clinton’s Political Scandals

Hillary Clinton’s Political Scandals


With the 2016 Presidential Election approaching, I wanted to read some books about Hillary Clinton to get more insight into her background and political career. WikiLeaks is releasing several private emails every day involving Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta.  I picked this book up, along with three other books (Hillary’s Choice, The Case Against Hillary Clinton, and Hell to Pay: The Unfolding Story of Hillary Rodham Clinton) from the library.   These books reveal information that was already known before the WikiLeaks emails.  The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President details Hillary Clinton’s political scandals.

The Truth About Hillary Synopsis

The chapters in The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President are very short, 2-8 pages long.  Quotes from sources comprise much of the book.

The author, Edward Klein, briefly writes about Hillary’s childhood and her sexuality.  She is the eldest of three siblings with her being the only girl.  Her mother taught her never to allow anyone to hit her.  If someone hits you, hit back harder.  Hillary did just that many times, even fighting with boys.

Bill and Hillary’s Marriage

Bill and Hillary met at Yale Law School.  It was not a romantic relationship since there was no sexual attraction between them.  Hillary seemed not to want to have sex, and Bill had sexual relationships with many other girls.  Hillary was fine with this.  Both Hillary and Bill looked to each other to help with their individual political ambitions to get to the top.  They needed each other.

“Hillary hitched her star to the charismatic Bill Clinton.  She followed him back to Arkansas because, as she told several friends, she believed that he was going to be president one day.  According to the Reverend Don Jones, Hillary and Bill started plotting his run for the White House as early as 1982 – almost ten years before he actually declared his candidacy.” (p. 41)

Political advisors to Bill and Hillary hinted to them that having a baby would help their public image.  It wasn’t easy for them to get pregnant, so they went to a fertility specialist in California.  They were willing to go through this because both Bill and Hillary agreed that it wouldn’t look good politically for them not to have children.

Bill’s sexual infidelities had begun before he and Hillary got married.  Even back then, she would have her dad and brother keep an eye on and report on Bill’s romances.  Later, Hillary hired private investigators to watch Bill and continued this activity throughout their marriage.  She wants to make sure that it does not get out of control and ruin her career with political scandals.  When she thought the infidelities were becoming too public and too dangerous, she would have her employees remove the women by transferring them so that they wouldn’t be in direct contact with Bill.

Monica Lewinsky Scandal

When the Monica Lewinsky scandal became public, Hillary pretended that Bill’s infidelities hurt her, but it was all an act.  She needed to keep up her image.  The public sympathized with her and hated Bill for doing this to her.  However, we didn’t know at the time that Hillary knew about Bill’s infidelities all along and helped cover it up.  More political scandals are to come.

Of course, it was in Hillary’s interest to preserve the fiction that she didn’t know the truth about Bill’s philandering.  She found many creative ways to circulate the idea that she and Bill were a normal, happily married couple.  For instance, she would occasionally drop a tantalizing remark that all was sweetness and light in the presidential bedroom.  (p. 33)

After the scandals, Hillary is still gearing up for the road back to the White House.  Being the first woman President of the United is her ultimate goal, the goal she had since childhood.

My Review

The two primary emphases of the book are Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton’s impeachment.  The author dropped quotes about these subjects throughout the pages which made it difficult to follow the timeline of events.

There were too many quotes in The Truth About Hillary: What She Knew, When She Knew It, and How Far She’ll Go to Become President.  The words didn’t flow well with some parts confusing me.  Monica Lewinsky and the impeachment were mentioned over and over again when I thought we were past that time.

I believe that this is a good book for people who want to know the inside story of Hillary.  Most of the details I already knew from the media, but it was good to hear about what the people who worked close to her said about Hillary.  I also didn’t know anything about Hillary’s childhood.  It helps to understand her personality and why she is so ambitious with her political career.


Great Escape from Room

Great Escape from Room

Five-Year-Old Boy Braves Great Escape from Room


Room, authored by Emma Donoghue, is a story that captured my heart.  A Five-Year-Old Boy Braves Great Escape from Room.  What makes it unique is told from a five-year-old boy’s perspective.  If it had been told from the mother’s perspective, it would have been a sad story and one that has been written many times before based on actual events.  The story is sad because we know the circumstances, but the boy does not see it that way.  We see how a little boy looks at the world and what he is thinking.


The story starts with Jack’s birthday when he turns five years old.  It’s only him and his mother living in an 11 sq ft room, which Jack just calls Room. They are being held captive by a man that kidnapped his mother seven years ago when she was nineteen years old. His mother tries to make life as normal as possible by creating routines.  Jack learned what time they ate dinner, took a bath, and went to bed.  He could read a digital clock.   

Since he could never leave the Room and has only a small skylight to look out, Jack had never seen the outside world.  They do have a small TV to pass the time.  He thinks that everything in the TV is not real.

Jack is an intelligent boy.  Although he doesn’t have many books, he loves to read.  Often his mother will read him the books. Watching TV taught him a lot of things too.  His mother taught him to write his name and sentences.  



Room is an adorable and heart-wrenching story.  I didn’t want it to end. Coming to the end of the book, I wondered how it was going to finish.  It doesn’t wrap up like in a crime or a romance book.  Nonetheless, the ending is touching and perfect.  I don’t give five stars to many books, but this one deserves it.  It captured my attention from beginning to end.  

I like how Jack says that his Ma unlies to him when she told him lies but now she is telling him the truth.  There are so many words in the book that reflects how young children speak.  

“When I was four I thought everything in TV was just TV, then I was five and Ma unlied about lots of it being pitures of real and Outside being totally real.  Now I’m in Outside but it turns out lots of it isn’t real at all.” (p. 277)

Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed was the made up words  Jack and his mother would create.  They used ‘scave‘ to mean both scared and brave. Jack came up with a lot of word sandwiches, as they called them, throughout the book.  The reader is glimpsing into a young child’s mind.  


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